I am really confused by a repetition in the story's one part.

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Oct 20, 2018 02:17
I am really confused by a repetition in the story's one part. The baby dies and the grandmother becomes so sad that she puts herself in the room for at least for a day. I have written that she doesn't act normal for three days. I overuse the words like: the next day, the second day, the first day.

I want you to please help me with this issue how to fix Days issue in the story? Any other phrases or sentences?

Please help. Attached is the story part that has this issue.

Peace and love,
Rizwan

Story:

Azeem approached Mother, and asked, "Did the baby die?

Mother looked at Father. I knew that she didn't want to tell him.

Father placed his hand on Azeem's shoulder, and gently said, "Yes, son. The baby didn't make it."

But then, Azeem surprised us all when he asked, “Was it a girl?”

I took a deep breath in. I felt like crying even more.

Father gently nodded.

I didn’t want to cry in front of him, so I left the room. My curiosity got the best of me. I returned to Aunt’s room and listened outside the door. Unable to hear much, I peeked inside. Aman Wadi was sitting in a chair and looked deeply saddened. Uncle Arbaaz was sitting on the bed next to Aunt Fariha. She was crying, and he was trying to comfort her.

She said to Uncle Arbaaz, "I need to tell you something. When we went to visit the saint, I didn’t pray for a son.” She glanced at Aman Wadi, who was already looking at Aunt Fariha. Surprisingly, she didn’t look angry, even though she was lied to. Aman Wadi wasn’t her usual self. I wondered if she was well.

Aunt Fariha turned back to Uncle Arbaaz and said, “I’ve been praying for a daughter since our fourth child was born. That’s why I didn’t want the ultrasound. If it was a boy, I didn’t want to know. I was feeling resentment after having four already, even though I love them very much. If it was a girl, I was afraid that the rest of you would have indignation towards her, even before she was born. You would treat her like you do Timkey and Pinkey. I didn’t want that for my daughter, but that didn’t stop me from praying for one. All of my life, I always felt less than a human being compared to my brothers. If I had a daughter, I wouldn’t treat her as I was treated, or as certain members of your family have treated girls in the past.” Again, she peered at Aman Wadi.

Nothing more to see or hear, I head back to my family. Soon after, Aman Wadi walked in. It seemed she was avoiding eye contact with any of us. Instead, she walked toward her bedroom, went inside and shut the door. At that very moment, Uncle Arbaaz came in and summoned the boys. With his arms around the two oldest, he led them all in to see their mother.

The next morning, Uncle Arbaaz drove Aunt Fariha to the nearest hospital to be examined. Uncle called to let Mother and Father know that they would be longer than expected. After losing too much blood, her red blood cell count was extremely low. Diagnosed with severe anemia, Aunt Fariha needed a blood transfusion to bring her levels back to normal.

Upon their arrival home, Uncle brought Aunt to her room for rest.

When Uncle Arbaaz joined the family in the family room, Baba Haji asked him, " What did the doctor say?"

He replied, "When she is well enough, she can return to her usual tasks."

Even though he lost a daughter, Uncle looked sad.

"If we had a doctor and a hospital in the village," said Baba Haji, "The child would have been saved. Modern physicians are much better at handling difficult births than midwives are.”

After Baba Haji’s comment, no one said a word. The room was silent.

“Fariha wants to give the child a resting place in the village graveyard,” said Uncle Arbaaz. “I sent Azeem and his brothers to dig a grave for her.”

Mother took it upon herself to inform our grandmother. Knocking on her bedroom door, she didn’t respond. Mother called to her, “Chachi, the menfolk are going to take the baby for burial. Won’t you have a final look at her?”

Mother’s words prompted her to finally come out of her room. She kissed the baby and looked at the sky. It was obvious that she silently said something to God.

After the male members of the family took the baby to graveyard, Aman Wadi prepared for guests who would be arriving to offer their condolences. Popri’s mother, and other women of the neighborhood, came to our house.


After the burial, all of the male members of the family sat in the Otaq where they received condolences from Popri's brother and other males of the neighborhood.

When the guests were all gone, everything returned to normal, so to speak. Aman Wadi returned to her room, alone.

In the morning, grandmother hadn’t been seen by anyone. We were growing concerned about her.

Baba Haji went to her bedroom door and knocked. Speaking loudly to her, he said, “Hajani, come out of the room and join your family for a meal!”

When he returned, Father asked, “What did she say?”

“She told me to go away, and that she wanted to be alone,” he replied.

Because she had responded to him, we knew that she wasn’t injured, or dead.

Aman Wadi had spent the entire day in her room, except for the rare times when she went to the bathroom, or to take something from the kitchen to eat. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought she was fasting and in prayer.

There was no doubt about it, our entire family had grew concerned for Aman Wadi. Grandfather tried handful of times to convince her to let him in, but she refused. Not one of us had ever seen her so silent, or estranged from the family as she had become.


Chapter 11: Hidden Resentment

The next day, Aman Wadi, like yesterday, didn’t join us at the dining table. To keep us preoccupied, Mother directed us to sweep the floors and wash the dishes. Uncle Arbaaz told his sons and my brother to sweep the Otaq.

As I was sweeping the floor, I saw Aman Wadi going to my parents’ room. My mother was there in the room. After Aman Wadi went in, I got close to the door and began to listen to their conversation.

Aman Wadi said to Mother, “In my childhood, I was very beautiful and intelligent.” Aman Wadi went silent for a few seconds.

I glanced at Mother, the look on her face was one of shock. I didn’t believe she ever expected Aman Wadi to speak to her with that soft tone.

“You’re still beautiful, Chachi,” said Mother.

“I was so beautiful that my father was afraid that someone might abduct me,” Aman Wadi continued. “That’s the reason he married me quickly at the age of 13 on the conditions of a good dowry.”

Mother looked as if she wanted to say something, but the words weren’t coming from her mouth.

Aman Wadi remained silent for a few seconds then continued, “I never wanted to be married…” Aman Wadi searched for the correct words, and blurted out. “I never wanted to be married to your father-in-law.”

“Really?” my mother said.

“I shouldn’t tell you, but I think it doesn’t matter at this age,” Aman Wadi said. “My marriage was arranged, and that made me very angry.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Mother said. “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know this. I’m a little taken aback by it. I’m sorry for your past.”

“You shouldn’t be sorry. That’s what happens here. However, as a teenage girl, I couldn’t do anything, but to accept the traditions. I just came to tell you that you can educate your girls. You have my permission.”

I felt Aman Wadi wanted to say more, but she couldn’t find the words or maybe she thought it wasn’t the right time for her. Aman Wadi left the room.

After listening to these words, I understood why Aman Wadi was always rude and angry. Aman Wadi had resentment because she never had the chance to live out her dreams and she was forced to live under a burka or the strict laws of Islam as understood and enforced on her by her family.

Mother guessed I had heard their conversation. I didn’t want to seem snoopy, but the curious person I was, I didn’t miss their conversation. My mother said to me, “Now that God has opened the doors for your education. I hope God gives you a chance to study again.”

From that day, Aman Wadi softened. She didn’t shout and spent time alone in her room. She seemed to be lost and very sad. She didn’t eat with the family as usual. She avoided talking to any member of the family.

On the second day after the death of the baby, my family was still sad. Baba Haji came to the kitchen and asked, “Timkey, your grandmother doesn’t seem to scold you anymore. I am worried. I cannot stand to see her so alone and silent.”

“She’s all right, Baba Haji. She is better than before,” I replied.

Baba Haji sighed and said, “May Fariha become well soon and your grandmother start her shouting again.”

I saw Baba Haji’s eyes filled with tears. “Baba Haji, she doesn’t shout… I mean she isn’t bad woman,” I stammered. “She told Mother something about her life. That explains why she is the way she is.”

Baba Haji looked at me in amazement. “What did she tell her?”

“She told her that she was a beautiful girl and that she once had dreams of a great future.”

Baba Haji seemed to understand what Aman Wadi must have told Mother. I started to say something, but I stopped, understanding that I would hurt him. However, he knew the subject quite well and spoke about it.

Baba Haji again took a sigh and said, “Because of the parents’ decisions, religious beliefs, or local traditions, children sometimes lose out on their dreams, what they envision for themselves. I didn’t want her to sacrifice her dreams, but I was also forced by my parents to marry young. You see men are as much victims as women but women are twice victims once of taboos and the religious society, and secondly of their menfolk. However, I have always tried to keep her happy, though. That’s the reason I don’t interfere in what she says and does.”

“It is her resentment,” I said. “It shows the effects of her sadness of never being able to live out her own dreams from childhood.”

“She was forced into marriage under the harsh, strict cultural laws and because of her family,” said my grandfather. “Historically, maybe her mother also had resentment and the resentment just passed on from generation to generation. Often times when resentment runs in a mother, it will end up in the daughters that follow. Thankfully, I'm much older and I'm close to God so it all washed away. When someone never gets to live out their dream and feels miserable, sometimes their faith isn't true to God, but stuck in the past.”

I nodded, looking at Baba Haji. He seemed to have so many buried secrets in his heart like Aman Wadi.

“I have just been pretending that I am afraid of her, but I just want her to be happy,” said Baba Haji. “She has so much anger bottled up inside of her from the past, because she never got to do what she wanted to do. She has hung onto anger in her heart all these years of our marriage. I’ve been waiting for the day when she forgets her past, overcomes her anger, and her reactive negativity. And that a side of her that no one's ever seen can finally emerge, and her true beauty can be seen by all.” said Baba Haji. “But I think, regretfully, it is now too late for her to change.”


After listening to Baba Haji, I felt that he was maybe in some way like Azeem, but from an older generation so he never acted on his beliefs about women. Their marriage was arranged, so they never really got to know each other. Maybe they both were forced into this life in some way. She lived a life that was not as she wished it. Her life has been a prison. Until now, there was no release from her pent up thoughts.

In truth, when we live a life of resentment because of past problems that we blame others for, we actually do hold it over the heads of all others, even though we don't usually recognize it. Anytime we don't live with love, respect, honor, gratitude, then we're not living life at all. Usually we're stuck in the past reliving it over and over and over again until we die. Aman Wadi had so much anger and resentment that she did not want her daughter-in-laws, or her grandchildren to have what she could never have.

I told these things to Azeem, and he said, “Our grandmother has finally got the chance to live a life of prosperity in her heart and her mind. She is now released from the prison of the past.”

Chapter 12: The Misunderstood People


On the third day, Mother and Aunt came up with an idea of how to coax her out and eat with the family.

Mother said, “Fariha, we need to find a way to get Aman Wadi to come out of her room. She can’t continue to remain alone and not function with her family. It’s very unhealthy for her.”

“I agree,” said Auntie, “but how are we going to do that? She's a very stubborn woman. She won’t be easily coaxed out.”
“You’re right, but I’ve been thinking about it,” said Mother. “What about convincing her to eat with us as a family? She enjoys when we gather together for a meal.”

“That could work,” says Aunt Fariha. “It’s one of her favorite things to do.” Fariha sighs. “But what if she still doesn’t want to come out? What do we do then?”

“We’ll worry about that if and when the time comes,” said Mother. “For now, let’s prepare the food.”

After the cooking was finished, and it was time to eat, Mother and Auntie stood outside grandmother's bedroom door and called out, “Aman Wadi! We can’t eat without you. You need to open the door and come out. We are all very concerned about you.”

The door opened. By the look on everyone’s face, no one including me expected her to come out. Her stubbornness could be worse than a mule’s.

With tears in her eyes, she looked at Mother and said, “Why do you care if I’m present or not? I’m to blame for the child’s death. I shouldn't be counted among you.”

Not a word was said in response. The room fell silent. Please, someone, say something, I thought. The atmosphere was unbearable. I’d never experienced tension of this nature before.

As if compelled to speak up, I looked at Aman Wadi and said, “How is it your fault that we didn’t have a good doctor to take care of Aunt Fariha and her child? You’re not to blame. It’s no one’s fault. Everyone knows that you stayed with Auntie to make sure that she was cared for. Mother was with you as well. She knows how hard you worked to help mother and child.”

Aman Wadi’s gaze was upon me. A tear passed down her cheek. Once again, the room fell silent.

Aunt spoke up, “Aman Wadi, we are all here for you. If there’s anything you’d like to talk to us about, we’ll listen and support you.

She nodded. “But first, I need to sit down. What I have to say will not be easy for me to talk about.”

Mother and Father helped her to a chair. Azeem brought a glass of water to her. Grandfather was worried about her. I could see it in his eyes. Pulling up another chair, he sat close to her. Maybe he thought she was about to announce her impending death.

“Please, bear with me,” she said. “What I have to say will most likely shock each of you.” Aman Wadi shuttered, as if filled with anxiety. I actually felt sorry for her. Grandmother continued, “So fresh within my mind, it’s hard for me to speak about, but after all that has happened, maybe now is the right time to reveal things to you that I’ve kept hidden for far too long.

Uncle Arbaaz and Father looked at Mother, and then at each other with confused expressions.

“I’ve had two days alone by myself to think and pray,” said A man Wadi. “I feel strongly that God is prompting me to talk with you. Until you came for me at the door, I wasn’t willing to come out on my own.”

To hear her confess even so little, I was shocked. She never once admitted to any of her weaknesses.

“Since I was a young girl,” said grandmother, “I have never had time alone to myself. I had forgotten how useful it can be. Without ceasing, I have prayed for an answer as to why this child had to die. Today, I received my reply.”

Aman Wadi turned to Pinkey and I. “I’m a selfish old woman,” she said, as if she were speaking directly to us. “Two days ago, when I held my third granddaughter in my arms … she was lifeless.”

Increasingly, she grew emotional. It was a apparent that articulating her words had become difficult. I no longer recognized her as being familiar to me. Glancing at the rest of the family, I think they were receiving the same sense.

She said, “For the first time, I loved somebody … and I couldn’t have her. God knew that this grandchild …” she swallowed hard “... which Fariha bore, was exactly what I needed to wake me up.”

I have harbored anger and bitterness throughout the majority of my life because of choices that were made on my behalf as a young girl. I pretended that sons were the pride and joy of every family … and girls were a curse. In order to survive each day, I had to convince myself that it was true.”


With her hands, Aman Wadi summoned me to come to her. A little nervous, yet curious, I wanted to know what was next. As I knelt down before her, she took my face into her hands and looked into my eyes. She said, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t be a doctor, or whatever you want to be. I won’t stand in your way anymore. If we had someone trained as a doctor two days ago, your cousin would have lived. I believe that!”

Aman Wadi did something else that I’d never seen her do before. She leaned her forehead against mine. I wasn’t entirely sure, but I think I felt a divine presence.

Next, she summoned Pinkey over. After seeing what Aman Wadi did with me, she moved swiftly. I moved back to give her some room. Aman Wadi did the same with Pinkey as with me. When she was finished, Aman Wadi looked up at Mother and Aunt Fariha, and then back at me and Pinky, and said, “Please forgive me for being an old fool. From this day forward, this home will be just as accepting of the girls as of the boys.”

Aunt Fariha knelt down before her. “As much as I miss the baby girl that I prayed for so long to have, I’d much rather see your soul filled with joy and peace before God takes you home,” said Aunt Fariha. I can always have other children, but there will never be another Aman Wadi.”

Mother stood close and placed her hand on Aman Wadi’s shoulder. “I forgive you,” said Mother. “The past is forgotten.” Mother knelt down next to her. I saw the emotion on her face and in her eyes. She continued, “The manner by which you talked to my girls, it was a miracle. My prayer was finally answered. I wanted my daughters to be loved by you, and treated equally as the boys.”

Mother turned her attention to Aunt Fariha. “I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you, but God knew that only your daughter would turn this family around, and so she did. Your prayer for a daughter was answered, but it wasn’t as you expected, nor was it as any of us would have wanted, but her life and death has given new purpose to this family. We will all pray to God that you will be blessed with another daughter.”

Aunt Fariha went to Mother and hugged her. Wrapped in one another’s arms, they cried. With so much tension over the past years, this was hopefully what they needed to break down barriers that once existed. Maybe they’ll finally become like sisters.

Grandfather spoke up, and said, “Throughout our entire marriage, everyone thought that I was the nicer of the two. Now I’m going to look like the worst!”

Everyone laughed. This was a side of grandfather that had rarely been seen. So many of our prayers were finally being answered. Sadly, it occurred at the cost of the life of a tiny, little baby.

Aman Wadi reached for grandfather’s hand. She said, “Our marriage was arranged when I was 13.” She gazed into his eyes. “I don’t want to sound harsh, because it’s not my intention, but I never loved you because you were a part of the imminent downfall of my dreams. Over the years, I grew to love you once I saw that you were a good provider, and you treated me well. You were always a good father to your sons and grandfather to your grandchildren. I’m sorry for making your life miserable.

After what she said to grandfather, I wondered if my hearing needed to be checked.

“If I had been a more loving and gentle person throughout our marriage, you wouldn't have had to work so hard to try and please me. From now on, I want the remaining years that we have left together, to be spent in peace and happiness. I’m tired of being resentful and angry for what I never received so long ago. It’s over and buried.”

Grandfather nodded. He was trying to hide his emotions, as most men often do.

Uncle Arbaaz said, "Mother ... I ..." He pulled her close and hugged her. "Thank you," he softly said to her.

Aman Wadi nodded. “From now on, we will be a family united.” She peered at Uncle Arbaaz and Aunt Fariha and smiled. “Your child made this day possible.”

Following Aman Wadi and Baba Haji’s example, we all stood around the dining table. "This day will serve as a new beginning for our family," said Aman Wadi, "And we owe it all to a tiny infant girl who will never be forgotten."